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Jan 30, 2002

Arson burns out Sand Hill resident

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Belizean fire fighters have recently completed a detailed course on the proper way to investigate the origins of a fire. After watching the next story, it should become clear that their newly acquired skills are badly needed.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting

This is all that remains of forty-five year old Leonard Wright’s home. He suspects arson is to blame and recounts a bizarre occurrence that took place in the early morning hours of Saturday. Wright says he was staying at this house in Sandhill Village with a friend Friday night, but at about 4 a.m. something woke him up.

Leonard Wright

“When I open the door, I see smoke, so I get up, wake up the next brethren and we come outside. When we come unda ya, wah piece a cloth bout that set underneath deh, whe you could see the burn, and we set that out.”

While waiting for the police to show up, Wright saw black smoke rising above the tree line.

Leonard Wright

“I done curious bout whe happen, so I walk through the picado and when I get back deh, da my house the burn. When I conscious that da my house, I just heng my head, no use a come this side again cause I could do nothing, not even a bucket a wata could help me.”

Wright, was renting the mobile home from the Housing Department, has been forced to stay with friends in the village.

Leonard Wright

“I had everything inna de house, the bed, stove, everything, chair, table, everything. Everything. No only mine, my next bredda, cause he occupy da room and I occupy this room.

One pants, one shirt. I just tek off the shirt I had on from Monday and buy this one and put on this one this morning. So I no know who try, I no know whe deh di try tell I or do I but, small piece a land, this da the only thing Rasta got.

I no do nobody nothing, I sure ah that. I just deh out ya four months, da the part whe I no understand…just come live out ya four months.”

Janelle Chanona

“So what happens now?”

Leonard Wright

“To be truthful, if da wah lee thatch house I have to build, you know, life continue. If no housing nobody help, have to try help myself. Wah lee thatch house and I wah deh back ya maybe March, April the latest cause I can’t give up. I can’t give up.”

Reporting for News 5, I am Janelle Chanona.

When News 5 contacted fire officials today, it was the first they had heard of the incident.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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